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AmazonBasics batteries recalled due to fire and chemical burns

Around 260,000 units are covered under the recall.

 

Phillip Tracy

Tech

Published Mar 14, 2018   Updated Mar 14, 2018, 11:11 pm CDT

Stop using AmazonBasics portable battery packs—immediately.

Amazon has voluntarily recalled several versions of the portable batteries it sells under its low-cost in-house brand. Portable batteries are a convenient way to charge mobile devices like smartphones and tablets when users are away from an outlet. But inside each one is a lithium-ion core that, when damaged, causes a violent chain reaction called thermal runaway.

The company has received 53 reports of batteries overheating, at least one of which caused chemical burns, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Four people have reported property damage from fire and smoke.

Like other companies in the market, Amazon offers a range of capacities priced between $10 and $40. About 260,000 Chinese-made units are being recalled, including six models with the following capacities:

  • 2,000mAh with micro USB cable
  • 3,000 mAh
  • 3,000 mAh with USB micro cable
  • 5,600 mAh
  • 6,100mAh
  • 10,000 mAh

If you own any of these, it’s advised that you stop using them and return them to Amazon.

The company appears to have removed all AmazonBasics portable battery packs from its online store. Amazon is supposedly contacting people who own those with product ID numbers B00LRK8EVO, B00LRK8HJ8, B00LRK8I7O, B00LRK8IV0, B00LRK8JDC, and B00ZQ4JQAA. If you haven’t been contacted by Amazon, you can visit its recall page to submit a request. Affected devices were sold from Amazon.com, Amazon Bookstores, and Amazon pop-up stores from December 2014 through July 2017.

This is the highest-profile recall we’ve seen since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. In 2016, Samsung recalled its flagship smartphone after receiving at least 25 reports of it exploding while charging. The Korean manufacturer eventually found an error in the battery’s design and responded to user criticism by establishing an eight-point battery check for future products. These are just a few of many cases that show the dangers of lithium-ion batteries when they are poorly designed or damaged.

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*First Published: Mar 14, 2018, 10:57 pm CDT